View Full Version : Thinking of shooting local sports
18th of August 2006 (Fri), 07:44
This is my first real post here so hi!
I've recently added the sigma 70 200 to my small collection of lenses and had a minor brainwave today on how to kearn to use it better. I was thinking of heading down to the local footy (soccer) pitches here on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and practising my technique.
What I'm worried about, in these ever so PC days, is angry parents trying to wrestle the camera from me for taking pics of the kids playing. Can anyone tell me the legalalities of the situation, an aussie slant would be good.
My feeling is that if you're outdoors playing sport on a public park then you're fair game to be photographed, but then what do I know...
Is there any difference in snapping at under 18s vs. over 18s?
Do I need to ask permission before shooting - if so, who do I ask it from individuals or the or the governing organisation?
18th of August 2006 (Fri), 07:57
hey I can help! http://www.photoimaging.com.au/linkframe.taf?_function=NewsArticle&record_ID=39136 this is a link that might help you it has rights for a photographer. I wouldnt know much about sport photography but I stumbled across this and kept in my favourites and it has come to good use.
18th of August 2006 (Fri), 08:14
I would contact the local adult league or team and let them know you are interested in sports photography and that you would like to work with them to learn. In return, you'll share some of your images with them if you get some good ones. There is nothing "technically" wrong with photographing kids, but I would just avoid the situation and the problems it could bring up. There are so many opportunities to learn with out going into the ugly grey area.
18th of August 2006 (Fri), 08:24
Justin - Now that's what I'm talking about! 13mins after posting a question a link to a comprehensive answer, many thanks!
Croasadil - I more or less agree. As it happens I play for one of the adult teams (when selected...) and would most likely limit my practice shooting to that age group etc. OTOH I don't want to be bullied out of taking pics of normal saturday afternoon stuff just because people are paranoid that there's a peado behind every camera.
I guess this is something that comes down to experience and for now I'll make life easy for myself and snap my teammates. It's generally easier to get along by going along, right?
18th of August 2006 (Fri), 20:29
Whenever I heard of a soccer game being played, I just walked out, sat down near the end line and started shooting. No one ever said a word to me. If you have a white lens and act like you know what you are doing, people accept you and treat you like a pro. Most likely they thought I was with the local paper.
I started out with the high school girls and the little kids pride soccer. That was all that was being played in the spring. Since then I've tried to shoot as many different sporting events as I could find. I got a smugmug site to post photos on and I had business cards made up to hand out. I had t-shirts silk screened with PHOTO in big block letters on the back and my website address underneath. I have the same thing in smaller letters on the front right breast.
Check out my website if you want to see the early pictures. A little shaky at the start but I've gotten better and more confident every time I've gone out.
I've tried searching the internet for local team owners and athletic directors. I sent them all e-mails using my website as a portfolio. If you check out their website and see crappy photos, offer them a few of yours in exchange for access. I now have an agreement with the athletic director of the high school closest to my home to shoot all sports at all levels. He even announced me and my website at the athlete's parents meeting and is going to advertise my services on the school website.
So that's my advice to you - get out there and start shooting. Start small and gradually build up. If by chance you should get chased off, so be it. Just go somewhere else and shoot. You don't even have to be trying to sell the pictures, just gain some experience and have something to show future clients.
18th of August 2006 (Fri), 20:41
When I was photographing baseball (ages 7-13 av.) for my boss, I got a few stares I was 17 at the time. I get useto them and ignore it because I know Im doing what im suppose to, and hurting nothing.I agree with Tandem that if you have a white lens, you will be treated differently, in a good way, lots of respect. I will give you a warning, at the one soccer game I went to, the referees were a bunch of jerks, they will be picky where you shoot. One told me to shoot behind the yellow line, I went ok, so I went behind the yellow line and he told me again to stay behind the yellow line (even though I was 5 feet behind lmao). The people at the grand stnads said "isn't that rediculous on how he treated you". This year will be fun though :). As far as shooting at stadiums, I think that would be consisted school property, unless your at a Public Park. Make some cards, and give them to the parents, make them familiar with you.
19th of August 2006 (Sat), 05:01
Tandem - thanks that's what I was hoping to do, it'll be fun and like you say I'll be learning something too.
BTW, I don't have a white lens, but the Sigma 70-200 (with hood) on a tripod should look serious enough :)
19th of August 2006 (Sat), 06:07
I don't think you should worry about the legalities.. If your taking pictures of kids then expect some big scary father to come over and have strong words with you. Also you can't really publish them. you can't even post them on here for crit. that would be so very wrong.
Go for adult amatuer sports would be my advice :)
19th of August 2006 (Sat), 06:28
I've always found that if in doubt do the courteous thing, find someone in charge and ask them. If they object when you ask them they would have objected only more strongly if you hadn't. If they don't object then you have their support if somone else does object and you may have established a useful contact that could lead to more. If you've got a card give them one.;)
19th of August 2006 (Sat), 08:01
Go for adult amatuer sports would be my advice :)
That is good advice if the local climate doesn't allow you to photograph the little ones. On the other hand, it's like learning a video game by starting off at level 5. Adult amateurs tend to play hard without a lot of control. Balls and players come at you fast.
You are going to make a lot of mistakes from a photographical standpoint when you first start out. You'll have shots out of focus, shots where everyone's back is turned to you, and shots of nothing at all. I learned a lot from shooting the kids - patience waiting for the plays to develop, getting focus on the key player, and then at the hight of the action being there to get the shot. There was a lot of learning of what worked and what didn't and then applying what I learned on my next outing.
When I started shooting the older players and adults I had to change gears and work faster but I already had a good grasp of the fundamentals and it made the transition easy. I didn't have to think as much about how to get the shot and I could get into the flow of the game. And have a better idea of how to stay out of harms way.
20th of August 2006 (Sun), 06:01
I went out this afternoon in the fading Sydney light for my first proper session with the new lens.
I wanted to get out and shoot some sunsets but found a guy flying an RC plane and probably shot 250 fames, unsuprisingly the hit rate was very low. Those things move fast and less than 30m later it was dark...
I did take a couple of barely decent pictures and get some contact details and an invite to go and shoot at the RC aircraft club - hopefully in the bright aussie sunshine and with more practice I'll get better results.
20th of August 2006 (Sun), 11:50
I usually talk to the referees before the match and let them know I'd like to shoot from behind the endline. I let them know that I am a referee and coach myself and understand that I can't make noise or otherwise distract the players and they are usually fine with that.
I did have one instance where I did not speak to the CR prior to the match and he sternly instructed me to move to the touchline. I moved to the touchline and waited until halftime to ask him to let me shoot from there and let him know that I was aware of how to behave from there. He still refused to let me shoot from there. Oh well. That was the only time I have had any issues.
If I'm just out shooting, sometimes people ask me if I'm a pro or want to know who I am shootinf for. I explain that I'm just out practicing and have never been given so much as a odd look. But you never know when you may run into someone that is uncomfortable with your prescense.
My advice is to make to yourself look like a photographer and most will take you at face value.
22nd of August 2006 (Tue), 05:13
My first go at shooting some of the locals :)
22nd of August 2006 (Tue), 22:34
A little late i guess, but still, WELCOME to POTN!
There aren't a whole lot of us Sydney siders on here, but there are a few.
(Yeah, technically i am Central Coast, but do work in Sydney too).
Your surfer pic looks cool.
That hosting that you are using seems to be really slow though.
23rd of August 2006 (Wed), 20:10
Any recommendations for photo hosting gratefully recieved.
I've used Imagestation in the past for personal photos but they don't allow linking to the pics. On the other hand Imagestation lets me upload original, full size images - maybe that's why it was slow as it's probably a 4Mb file :)
23rd of August 2006 (Wed), 20:42
with respect to photographing youth sports, I sent out an email to all the hockey teams here saying who I was and that I was looking to put a portfolio together for my own personal use. I said I would show up at a number of their games, photograph the kids, and offer prints for sale and a reduced price in exchange for model releases from the parents that allowed me to used the kids on my advertising etc... I had three teams that were interested and one team that came through in the end...I ended up selling a little over 800.00 worth of prints and I received a photo release from all the parents.
Since I grew up around the sport it was a quick learning curve on how to get the shots but my keeper ratio went from aobut 15% to close to 75% over the course of the season and it was a really great learning experience.
It was a win win...this year I am looking to sign up three teams and do something similar only I will be requiring a large deposit from the team in advance.
Hope this helps,
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